What to Do When Lost in the Woods

“A clear head will find itself,” begins the “What to Do When Lost in the Woods” flyer published by the U.S. Forest Service, published in 1946. It continues, “finding oneself is a test of a man…” and as you read, you realize that, yes, these are pretty good tips for finding oneself actually lost in the woods, but are equally applicable to all sorts of lifestyle situations. 

Artist Austin Kleon spotted the flyer on Twitter, and noted that the tips are powerful lessons for creativity. The flyer reads

  1. Stop, sit down and try to figure out where you are. Use your head, not your legs.
  2. If caught by night, fog or a storm, stop at once and make camp in a sheltered spot. Build a fire in a safe place. Gather plenty of dry fuel.
  3. Don’t wander about. Travel only down hill.
  4. If injured, choose a clear spot on a promontory and make a signal smoke.
  5. Don’t yell, don’t run, don’t worry, and above all, don’t quit.

“Keep the old brain in commission and the chances are you will come out of the woods on your own feet.”

Check it out in full at Brain Pickings: 7 Lessons on the Creative Life from the U.S. Forest Service